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Thread: A Few Questions from AZ

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    A Few Questions from AZ

    I want to start by thanking all of you. I've been reading here for the last few months, but now that the swimming season is approaching I've been trying to apply things. Most of my questions have to do with my specific setup.

    We've lived here since about June and since this is our first pool we paid a pool guy at the start, but after seeing him overcharge for a few minor repairs and charge about $25/week for a few tricolor tabs and skimming I started doing it all myself.

    I called the PB and the pool was built in 2006 and is 9,021 gallons. It's pebbletec with an in-floor cleaning system and a 1HP Hayward SP4000Z5 pump (btw, just replaced the basket). It was originally a salt pool, but the company that made the salt system went out of business a while ago, cells are no longer available, and the control box has been unwired and PVC has been added where the cell used to be. I'd really like to change this back to salt and the price of the Jandy Aquapure EI APURE35PLG really catches my attention. I don't know why it's less expensive than the hard-wired model. One challenge with that, though, is the requirement for a 2.5' horizontal pipe. I've only got a 23" pipe so some plumbing would be needed.

    That leads to the second observation (and actual questions will come soon). The pool guy I had never looked at the filters, but told me it probably didn't need to be looked at until about now. I trusted that advice and opened up my cartridge system a couple days ago. Unfortunately I didn't measure them, but there were 8 of them and they were filthy. I hosed them off for about an hour and put the system back together. I did notice that I probably need new filters since most of them had broken bands and the ones on the bottom seem to have been warped/folded/crushed due to previous weight. Although I didn't measure, and after quickly looking online and at the hardware store it looks like these filters cost about $50 each, so about $200 to replace. Also, when I cleaned my filters, I got the fiberglass itch on my arms and I'd really like to not have that happen again. And now the cleaning of the filters and a better working system is causing other problems to show up. There seems to be a small crack in the pump basket cover so water sprays from the plastic when it also leaks from the cover when it's shut off. I found another post saying it's normal for that pump to leak from the cover right when it's shut off so I'm not as concerned about that as the crack in the plastic. I'll be calling local parts stores in the morning for that. Neither of these happened before the cleaning of the filters, but I also cleaned the pump basket around the same time. When I did, I noticed that the pump basket was cracked down one side so I replaced that today.

    Both of these observations (Jandy and cost of filters) have caused me to look at replacing the cartridge filter system with a sand filter. I could re-plumb it for the new filter and get the 2.5 ft I need for the Jandy. My big question here is that most sand filters I'm finding have 1.5" valves and I have a 2" system. Here come the questions.

    Could I use reducers, or do I need a 2" valve?
    Hayward S244T Pro Series Top-Mount 24-Inch Sand Filter with 1-1/2-Inch Vari-Flo Valve for In-Ground Pools can be found for $282.99, but it seems to be a "too good to be true" price. Would this filter be big enough for my pool? Would it work with the in-floor cleaning system? Of course, the valve might not work depending on the answer above. From what I've read, a sand filter with some DE sounds like a breeze compared to washing all 8 of these, especially for a price not much more than replacing the filters.

    Is the Jandy Aquapure EI APURE35PLG a good investment? I wouldn't mind hard-wiring the other model, but don't see why I'd want to pay $200 more for the pleasure, especially when I have a GFCI outlet at the breaker box by the pool equipment.

    One last question. It looks like lots of people from AZ come here or other sites and say that their pool person said their pool needs a complete drain every few years. My former pool guy said it's from the CYA. According to test strips (I know I need to buy a nice test kit), it looks like I'm at about 100 for that so I'm thinking that draining half and refilling would be better than completely draining. Of course, I'd test with a better kit first, but I was wondering what you thought here too.

    Thanks a lot!

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: A Few Questions from AZ

    Hi, welcome to TFP! I can't answer all of your questions but I'll try to make a dent in the bulk of them. . As far as the filter goes, a 24" should be big enough, but you will go longer between cleanings with a larger filter. I'm not positive about the plumbing, but you should be able to use a reduction fitting to connect the filter to your existing plumbing. You also have the option of buying a 2" multi port valve for the filter but that will add $150-200 to the cost of the filter.

    I can't help you with the SWG, but someone who can should chime in later today.

    Ah the dreaded test strips! Notoriously inaccurate plus the CYA measurement maxes out at 100. Your CYA may be much higher. Once you have received a good test kit, either the TF100 or the Taylor k2006, test the CYA using the dilution method and double the result. That will give you a ballpark idea what the CYA level really is. Once you have corrected the CYA you can keep it in check by using the SWG or liquid chlorine in your pool.

    We always recommend a series of partial drain then refill cycles rather than replacing everything all at once when you have a large volume of water to replace. Draining 50 % is a good start, if that is what is needed.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: A Few Questions from AZ

    What size/model is you current filter? You should not need to replace cartridges very often, so might not be bad to stick with what you got. Note with a sand filter, you have to backwash which will lower your cya and salt needed for a SWG, but this also can help keep the CH in check.

    If you go with new filter, using reducers is fine.

    Only 2 reasons to drain water, high CYA or high CH. CYA comes from using too much solid chlorine. CH comes from hard tap water and high evaporation rates. You need goods test results to know if this is needed.
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    Re: A Few Questions from AZ

    Thanks for the replies.

    My test strips have colors for 150 and 300, but I always get the 100 color, which would make sense if 100 is the real limit. In July or August, the pool guy did a CYA test (which he told me was a test to see how old the water is) and said it's about 3 years and needed to be replaced at the end of last summer. He didn't tell me the level. I know I need to buy a kit and know for sure before doing anything, but the plan is to get the chemistry perfect before installing the SWG. Since we just moved in last summer, there have been other projects that took priority so I've been maintaining with Trichlor. Now it's time to fix it

    I couldn't find a sticker with a model number on the filter. All the stickers were warning stickers. Here's a picture. Like I said above, I really wish I measured the filters before it put it all back together and know I would need to if I wanted to replace them. There were 8 filters inside. Note that the newer valve on the top is a replacement since the old one was leaking.

    Attachment 27747

    The lower pipe coming from the filter is actually the section that's almost the 24" I need for the Jandy. I figure that rotating it 45 degrees counter-clockwise and replumbing this one and the making sure the new one leaves me with a long enough section would do it. I don't have a picture of the entire pad handy, but that pipe goes to valves for the aerator and skimmer (just one for the pool) and a third that goes to the in floor cleaning system. That's the section of the pipe that had the old salt cell attached (I can tell because the pipe color doesn't match the painted silver of the rest and it looks like a repair). Would that be a better spot? It's a vertical pipe so that would eliminate the Jandy altogether. My theory with putting it before the aerator and skimmer rather the just the cleaning jets is that all the water going into the pool from the filter will be chlorinated.

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    Re: A Few Questions from AZ

    Wow, telling the "age" of the water just from a CYA test. I don't think I've heard of that. I guess he doesn't realize that the water is actually millions of years old? If you properly take care of your pool, water never usually needs to be replaced.
    John
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    Re: A Few Questions from AZ

    Yeah, he probably should have not tried to use clever terminology.

    Since I don't have a test kit yet I'll be bringing a sample to the pool store today when I go to buy a new pump basket cover. It seems that my temporary patch of some old expired Mighty Putty on the small crack in the clear plastic worked overnight, but I won't trust that for long-term. It's about $25 more than I can find it online, but I don't want to have to wait.

    Oh, and I noticed a model number on the filter I have. On the safety sticker on the bottom housing it says DE2420Z3. When I searched for DE2420 I noticed it was a DE filter model number, but this thing's a cartridge filter so I'm assuming they use the same parts across products? Or maybe they put on the wrong sticker?

    Since I seem to be full of questions, I'll summarize the questions I've asked and the answers I've received so far.
    +I should wait for the results of a good test before deciding to replace any water.
    +The sand filter I mentioned above would be a good replacement, but I should go bigger if I can or I could just keep what I have. My thought here was that for $89 more than the cost of new cartridge filters plus sand it might just be better to replace the whole thing.
    +It's okay to buy a sand filter with a 1.5" valve and reduce my 2" piping to connect to it rather than buying a more expensive 2" valve.
    -No comments about the Jandy SWG yet.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: A Few Questions from AZ

    Some DE filters use cartridges like that instead of airfoil like grids. Running it without DE is not a good idea if it is truly a DE filter. Although odd that there is not a backwash valve.

    Order a kit and test before replacing water.
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    Re: A Few Questions from AZ

    I have identified the filter as the Hayward 7030, which seems to be overkill for a 9,000 pool, but I'm new here so I'll leave that up to you. This is the model that I found that takes 8 of the Unicel C-7483 filters that I've now identified (I opened it up again today since I didn't silicone the o-ring and there was a leak to fix). I was also wrong about the $200 filter price. It looks like it's at least $400 to replace all 8. That's Home Depot's price and a price I found on Amazon.com. If I buy them at the pool store I went to today, they are $90 each. Should I replace the filters and keep this monster or go with the 24" sand filter mentioned above for a fraction of the price? Or should I be happy I have such an oversized filter and just deal w/ the replacement costs? I'm torn in my decision now (and I know it's my decision, but what would you do?)

    I also found a 4 pack of Pleatco PA81 for about $150 with average reviews (and someone even saying they are the same that the specific pool store I went to sells for $90 each, for a total of $300).

    BTW, the DE2420 part number looks like the standard lower filter body for all of the swim and clear models, but the 7030 seems to be the only one that uses a mid-plate connector to join the two groups of four filters.

    http://www.hayward-pool.com/pdf/Part.../SwimClear.pdf

    I also had my water tested. She said the CYA was really high, but could only log a value of 99 in the computer. CH was also high at 380. She said I should drain and refill. Of course she had lots of products to sell me.

    FAC 5
    TAC 5
    CH 380
    CYA 99* actually much higher since --see above
    TA 110
    pH 7.6
    Copper 0
    Iron 0
    Phosphates 300 (She said these were high too).

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    Re: A Few Questions from AZ

    Welcome to TFP!

    Quote Originally Posted by elude
    FAC 5
    TAC 5
    CH 380
    CYA 99* actually much higher since --see above
    TA 110
    pH 7.6
    Copper 0
    Iron 0
    Phosphates 300 (She said these were high too).
    Since these results are from a pool store, I wouldn't put too much stock in the CYA number. Lighting is very critical for that test and the lighting inside a store is insufficient to properly perform that test. The CYA test should be done outside in bright, indirect sunlight. I once did a CYA test using a TF-100 kit and then took the same sample a mile down the road to a pool store to have it tested. Their reading was twice what mine was.

    Also, do not fret over phosphates - regardless of who performed the test or what test kit was used. They are a non-issue in a properly chlorinated pool. Some members on this forum have phosphates well over 1,000 and never have a hint of algae because there pool is properly chlorinated.


    Quote Originally Posted by elude
    I know I need to buy a kit and know for sure before doing anything...
    This is absolutely true! I would suggest that the very next pool-related activity you do is to go to tftestkits.net and order a test kit. The TF-100 is the best value for the $. While you are waiting for the kit to arrive, check out http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...Kit-Directions. When your kit arrives, run a full series of tests and post the results here. Then we can provide advice based on those readings.
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    Re: A Few Questions from AZ

    What's the average shipping time to AZ on those? I'm asking since I'll be out of town for a bit, which is why I overpaid on parts at the pool store to get my leaks fixed since I won't be able to monitor them while waiting for shipping. I want to time it so it's delivered the day I return (or thereabouts).

    As a side note, the pool guy that did the "water age" test did the CYA test outside last summer in 115 degree sunlight and said about the same thing. I've been adding tablets since then so it's even worse now. Surprisingly in the desert, water's cheap here too: 1/4 what I paid in CO so that's not a big concern and I'd drain into the sanitary sewer clean out per county/city rules out so nothing is "wasted." I'm fully expecting to have to drain and bought the pump a while back. Everyone here's also said that there's no danger out here due to the water table and the only thing I have to worry about is getting too hot for the pebbletec to be exposed, and that temperature's quickly approaching.

    I remember seeing some general pool startup articles and a borax one somewhere here that I don't see in pool school. I also searched, but can't find them. I'd like to read those to be prepared if my own tests confirm what the other two have said.

    Also, my wife's happy that I discovered that we have a ginormous cartridge filter so it looks like I'll replacing the filters and probably going with a circupool swg. Everything I read here and other places about sizing said to get 3-3.5x the size so I was thinking about around a 30k, but the "trainer" at the pool store butted into the conversation I was having with the other employee to say I needed 45k and will need to shock every week to keep the chlorine up when it's 120 degrees in the summer. Those weeks last summer I was going through 3 3" tabs/week (remember, 9k gallon pool). Was what he said accurate, or just trying to oversell me?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: A Few Questions from AZ

    You could get it quicker from poolsupplyworld.com who distribute the TF-100 on the west coast.

    Generally pool store employees seem to not offer the best advice. I run my 40k SWG on my 18k pool at around 30% for 9 hours ... so it is plenty big and able to keep up if you have the CYA in range.

    For you a 25k cell is likely plenty.
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    Re: A Few Questions from AZ

    Thanks. We've been meaning to visit Tucson since we moved here last summer. We're actually in the SE valley so it's fairly close. My wife wants us to take our kids to the observatory in the next couple of weeks.

    I think the pool store employee was mostly giving good advice, except when the trainer guy was around so it was hard. She seemed to care about the best for my pool. She kept talking about how she had a pool company back east and did things differently than what she's been taught here and "what she would do" seemed to be fairly consistent with things I've read here. He seemed to care the most about the corporate gibberish. So, there seem to be some good people out there, only to be squashed by the machine and either probably quit or get fired.

    For super quickness would an HTH 6 way give me better info about CYA than you think I have now? I know I can have that in hand tomorrow.

    I found PA81s to be the least expensive replacement filters, but that site is $10 more than I found at another competitor. I would order them with the kit, but since I need 8 of them it adds up. Any bad stories about this replacement filter? With a coupon I found a site that can send me the 8 I need (yes, all of them have broken bands or folded pleats) for about $270 including shipping.

    BTW, at the MAX rate tier for my water service, it'll be <$30 in water to fill the pool.

    pH from my tap is 7.6. I kind of feel like the time involved with messing with NOT refilling costs more. Sure, there's also submersible pump electricity and new chemicals and time, but the sewer isn't metered at all.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: A Few Questions from AZ

    You could get the HtH 6 way and do the tests to get you started while your good test kit is on order. It is unlikely you would need to drain 100% of the pool. Since it is a good bet that CYA is over 100ppm go ahead and do a dilution test using 1 part pool water mixed with 1 part tap water. Test this mixture and double the result. If you are going to be using a SWG then the CYA needs to be around 70. What does your water look like now? If it has algae it will be easier to clear if you bring the CYA down to 30, slam the pool and then bring the CYA back to 70 when you are ready to turn on the SWG.
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    Re: A Few Questions from AZ

    Thanks for that advice. I still need to get the good test kit, but I just tried that dilution method with a test strip and w/ 1/2 pool water and 1/2 tap water it came out to be the 20-50 color. Just pool water gives me the 100 color and as stated above the strips (HTH) have color keys up to 300. I know it's not the most accurate and I need a better test, but I'm seeing the data as directional if not accurate and this at least makes me feel that the CYA is not high enough to require a full drain and draining a quarter to a half depending on the results of a better test is probably the best route.

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    Re: A Few Questions from AZ

    It wouldn't hurt to do a partial drain while you wait for the kit. You'll be that much closer anyway...
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    Re: A Few Questions from AZ

    Sounds like you went to Leslies. Everyone I have seen on the forum here in Arizona including myself gets 300 for the phosphate readings, lol. I think they ordered to much of the product that lowers the phosphate count and they are trying to unload it on us, lol
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    Re: A Few Questions from AZ

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    You could get it quicker from poolsupplyworld.com who distribute the TF-100 on the west coast.
    ^^^
    seconded. I'm brand new here and also in Phoenix ( north mtn ish ) but I got my kit in 3 days from PoolSupplyWorld. which is when I found out that even with a diluted test, I was over 200 on my CYA.
    Drained 90% of my water, and I'm still at 55 CYA post fill.
    ugh.
    but manageable for the next few months at least.

    also 525 on CH - cause you gotta love Phoenix Hard Water (tm)

    The TF-100 kit is awesome, and the detailed instructions make the testing repeatable which gives me confidence in the numbers its generating. word to the wise - they mean it when you do the TA test that you have to wipe down the tip. I dont understand why, but not wiping got me a crazy high reading, wiping got me two readings lower ( still high ) but same reading twice.

    until you have the kit - you are flying blind.

    good luck to you. my boys expect to be able to be in the pool tomorrow ( assuming the OCLT comes out same same )
    Cardano
    20k IG PebbleTec w/ STA-RITE PE5E-182L 1HP and Zodiac Polaris PB4 for Polaris 380 vacuum / Hayward ProGrid DE4820 Filter / TF-100 but I havent broken down and gotten a speed stir yet

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